London, UK – 11th August: When Ricky Singh Sidhu decided to organise a 3-day bike ride for charity, he remembered that, as they say, ‘charity begins at home’: he chose to support UNITED SIKHS and, in particular, our STARAE project for gifted but underprivileged students in India.
Ricky, a lawyer from Beaconsfield, and his team members: Sundeep Singh Gakhal, a dentist from Huddersfield, Monty Singh Panesar, a librarian from Harrow, and Amandeep Singh Sandhu, a managing director from Coventry, will be making a gruelling 200 mile-journey, between Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Slough and Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield, North England, over three days on the August bank holiday weekend (Sat 28th- Mon 30th). Click here for the bike ride poster.
The four-man team, friends since university days, have been training and preparing in anticipation of the trip and apart from checking that their bikes are in order, they are ready for a ride that can reach a maximum speed of 30- 35 miles per hour. This will be their first really long-distance ride together, Monty and Ricky having done the 54 mile London to Brighton bike ride benefiting the British Heart Foundation in June.
“I have regularly participated in sports based charity events over the last few years. Each event was inevitably tied to a particular charity. I strongly felt that it was time that I organised my own event in aid of a charity that I really felt passionate about, specifically a Sikh charity. So I emailed UNITED SIKHS and offered to organise a bike ride for their scholarship project called STARAE. STARAE is an incredible programme that aims to benefit those in need,” said team leader, Ricky Singh Sidhu.
UNITED SIKHS is asking all supporters to pitch in to help reach the team’s target collection of £5,000, that is, £25 per mile, so that poor students may have an education.
STARAE (Scholarships as a Tool to Accelerate and Revive Academic Excellence) was set up in 2004 after it became clear to UNITED SIKHS volunteers visiting Panjab’s government-run schools that inadequate support was being provided to students, especially to those showing the greatest potential. The schools lack funds, facilities and even teaching staff due in part to a record high in the level of teacher absenteeism, which remains a serious problem.
To help address the problem, STARAE was started to give star bright village school going children the opportunity to study in private schools. In this way, they will get the best chance to reach their maximum potential in a conducive study environment. This year, the STARAE project has expanded to provide scholarships to students in Sultanpuri, a poor urban colony in Delhi. This colony came to our attention when SHS, a benevolent Sikh group from Australia, filmed a shocking documentary called ‘Slumgdog Sikhs’ which showed the poor conditions under which Sikligar families live in the colony.
“Our target is to sponsor 500 poor students this year and 5000 by 2015,” said Harjyot Kaur, UNITED SIKHS director who leads the STARAE project. Read more about STARAE at www.unitedsikhs.org/starae
Click here for a map of the bike ride route so you can cheer Ricky Singh Sidhu’s Bike team as they cycle… and bring an energy drink for them if you want to really help them out! Don’t forget to sponsor them by donating to our STARAE project online at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate, or by cheque payable to UNITED SIKHS marked for STARAE Charity Bike Ride and posted to the UNITED SIKHS office nearest to you. See http://www.unitedsikhs.org/contact.php
Remember, for us to maintain our support for talented students in rural Panjab and the slums of India, we need your help not just for three days in August but throughout the year. Reliable revenue enables us to keep up the programme in the long run, and to give these students their best possible chance in life, so we encourage all our donors to consider making a monthly gift by standing order of £20/$30 or more. Take a look at our forms at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/starae and feel free to send any questions to email@example.com
+44 (0) 8701993328